Thakur’s maiden five-wicket haul put India in pole position after the second day as they restricted South Africa’s first innings lead to only 27 and then finished the day at 85 for 2.
“When I started bowling, there was a length somewhere in those 22-yards from where the ball was kicking in (off) and also was staying low a bit. So all I did was to try to hit that spot and hit that crack,” added the pacer, who hails from Palghar region near Mumbai.
The key was to hit the right areas as both Centurion and Johannesburg tracks offered help for fast bowlers.
“See both the venues, even when we played in Centurion and here in Joburg (Johannesburg) at the Wanderers, there is and there was some help in the pitch, so all you had to do is keep coming hard at the batsman and bowl in the right spots, I was trying to do the same,” Thakur said.
Seamer reckons match-situation is tricky
Thakur said that India still can’t be termed favourites to win the match.
“The current match-situation, if you see it’s tricky. The lead that we take from here and the bigger the target we set that is good, because as the game progresses and we all know that last two days, it is not that easy to bat on the pitch.
“So, from our team’s point of view, the bigger target we set, and take the game long, that is good, because there is a lot of time left in the game.”
“Best is yet to come”
He may have recorded his best ever figures in all forms of red ball cricket with his superb 7 for 61 against South Africa but the Mumbai speedster is confident that he can better his personal best.
“It is my best figure, but the best is always yet to come, I would say,” quipped Shardul.
In Pics: Shardul Thakur’s seven-wicket haul keeps India on track for Test series win in South Africa
<p>A career-best performance by Shardul Thakur enabled India to fight back on the second day of the second Test against South Africa at the Wanderers Stadium on Tuesday. Thakur took seven for 61 – the best figures by an Indian bowler in Tests against South Africa – as the hosts were bowled out for 229, a first innings lead of 27. (ANI Photo)</p>
Indebted to Dinesh Lad
He once again spoke about his childhood coach Dinesh Lad’s contribution in his growth as a player. Shardul during his school days had stayed at the Lad residence as it was difficult to travel from Palghar to Borivali every day.
“Yes, obviously he (Dinesh Lad) had a lot of impact in my cricketing career and he is a second parent to me. He spotted me when no one else did and he provided that exposure, offering me an admission in the school (Swami Vivekanand International) in Borivali and since then my life has changed,” said Shardul of his coach Dinesh Lad.